Morocco & Western Sahara, 19-28 June 2015
Written by Jos   

Tempted by the possibilities of Sand Cats and other exotic mammals of the night, this nine-day trip had two main goals: (i) mammals across the region, and (ii) a sampling on the seawatching possibilities off Cap Rhir, north of Agadir. Mid-summer in the Sahara might seem a mad idea, but in reality temperatures in the Western Sahara are rather milder than might be expected at this season (a pleasant 20-25 C on the coast, 25-30 C inland). That said, temperatures in central Morocco were higher than expected, hitting highs on 42 C in the areas around Tizi n'Test pass, Cascades d'Ouzard and Marrakesh! The temperatures were not really a hinderance however and, as it turned out, the trip was a remarkable success with 17 species of mammal recorded, including Sand Cat and Barbary Macaque, and seawatching that far exceeded my expectations, the absolute highlights being no less than 14 White-faced Storm Petrels and 15 Barolo Shearwaters.

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2015 )
Baltic Mammal Challenge, June 2015.
Written by Jos   

Brown Bear track



One of the Baltic's mega fauna species to start the month off, a cracking Brown Bear lurking in the forests of northern Estonia. Also several Raccoon Dogs, a couple of Wild Boars and assorted extras including Roe Deer, Brown Hare and Red Fox.

From big to small, also added a Striped Field Mouse in Lithuania, a new species for the year.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 June 2015 )
Golden Jackal in Lithuania, Arrival, Impact & Status
Written by Jos   


Golden Jackals, northern Iran



With the arrival of the first Golden Jackal Canis aureus individual in Lithuania in February 2015, the Ministry of the Environment moved immediately to add the species to the country's list of species that may be hunted and in May 2015 published a draft order to list the species as invasive. Evidence to justify the listing of Golden Jackal as an invasive species is lacking and the purpose of this paper is to provide a balanced argument against this position.




Extensively reviewing literature from across the range of Golden Jackal in Europe, evidence is presented to support the view that Golden Jackals arrived in the Baltic States as a result of natural spread and are thus not invasive. Alongside, it is also considered that Golden Jackals are not likely to have a significant impact on the Lithuanian environment beyond a potential reduction in Red Fox Vulpes vulpes numbers. Furthermore, it is not valid to compare the arrival of Golden Jackals with the arrival of known-invasive species such as Raccoon Dog Nyctereutes procyonoides and American Mink Neovison vison. Finally, a summary of official and media reactions to the arrival of Golden Jackal is presented and a set of conclusions delivered that could assist in the ongoing debate in Lithuania.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 May 2015 )
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